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Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Steve MacKinnon rises during Question Period, in Ottawa, on Feb. 26.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

The federal Liberal government has tabled a motion to end all-night votes in the House of Commons, presenting the plan as a response to a Conservative move last year to inundate the House with late-night legislative business as a way of protesting carbon pricing.

The motion, presented by Government House Leader Steven MacKinnon on Monday, would make midnight the latest voting could continue on any given day. Votes would resume at 9 a.m. the following day.

Mr. MacKinnon told the House of Commons on Monday that the motion will create a healthier workplace.

“No one, whether one is a member of Parliament or an employee working in the House of Commons, should be forced to work throughout the night simply because the Leader of the Opposition wants to bully others into participating in his political games,” he said.

The motion, he noted, would prevent the government from suspending the new rules at its own convenience.

“The government has no intention of using this motion at a moment’s notice to extend the sitting hours.”

In December, the Conservatives forced MPs to vote non-stop over a pair of evenings on scores of amendments, as part of an effort to get the government to back off on imposing carbon pricing – which attaches fees to carbon emissions – on various constituencies, including farmers and First Nations.

The Liberals refused to back down as the voting proceeded.

Outside the Commons, Mr. MacKinnon said the government is intent on passing the fall economic statement, dental care plans and child care legislation, among other bills. “We are going to try and move those things along,” he said.

Conservative House Leader Andrew Scheer, a former Commons speaker, said the motion suggests that the Liberal government is focused on issues of little interest to Canadians.

“Conservatives will continue to raise the important issues that Canadians are facing, while Liberals want to debate and delay, and have a day-or-two-long debate arguing about how the process should be handled in the House of Commons,” Mr. Scheer said.

He said the government is acting to get its agenda through, and that the Conservatives would be happy to help if that agenda included cancelling or curbing carbon pricing, or measures that would get houses built.

No vote has been scheduled on the motion.

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